On the road through Europe's greenest metropolis
Renowned magazine "The Economist" has named Vienna the world's most liveable city twice in a row. Yet the city on the Danube has much more to offer than magnificent buildings and a rich cultural scene. It is on its way to becoming a green showcase city and wants to promote environmentally friendly mobility. A foray with Viennese enjoying their city on two wheels.
Meeting point Prater. The amusement park with its amusement rides and the giant wheel that can be seen from afar is still a landmark in Vienna today. It's the perfect starting point for a bike ride with Oliver Oth, hobby photographer and passionate eBiker. He takes us on an eBike ride in his city.
Year after year, Vienna occupies top positions in the popularity scale of travellers and residents. The business magazine "The Economist" named the metropolis the world's most livable city twice in a row. This is not only due to its special charm, the baroque architecture and the stylish coffee houses. No other major city in Europe has more green space for every one of its 1.9 million inhabitants. Forests, vineyards, gardens and parks make up almost 50 percent of the city's territory.
But how much fun is it to explore this city by bike? Hardly anyone can judge this better than the people who cycle there every day, on their way from A to B, to the office, to kindergarten – or in search of the new sides of the city. Like Oliver Oth. The 47-year-old is a flaneur on two wheels, who roams Vienna in his spare time with his eBike and alert eyes, always on the lookout for new photo opportunities.
We leave the amusement park behind us and head towards "Viertel Zwei", one of the new residential and office districts. In the direct vicinity of the racetrack, modern glass and concrete facades are clustered, broken up by fountains, moats and parking spaces. Contrasts, as Oliver Oth calls them. His attention is focused on architecture and nature, and he finds enough of both in this city. "With my eBike, I can travel great distances in a day, discovering more remote places for my photos."
The trained hotelier inspires many followers on Instagram with his work. They appreciate his pictures, which fascinate with unusual perspectives or light reflections. Oth also finds exciting photos in Donau-City, the new district on the other side of the river. The cycle path there, from the 2nd district over the Reichsbrücke Bridge, with its wide lanes running in opposite directions, offers enough space to enjoy the view. In the distance rises a glittering black tower called DC Tower 1, Vienna's modern landmark, soaring 250 metres into the sky.
Oth pointed his smartphone at the second tower next to it, which is half finished. "If you haven't been here for a week, something new will have already sprung up." For example, the new bicycle rental with eBike charging station on the Danube Island, the 21-kilometre-long belt that serves as a large recreational area. "Vienna is very green," Oth says, recounting his recent eBike ride, which took him from the city to the Vienna Woods. A 120-kilometre route where Oth listened to a podcast and his favourite music using the COBI.Bike app. "I need that sometimes to clear my head on the road."
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